KSU graduate uses data analytics skills for the win

KENNESAW, Ga. | Nov 19, 2020

Julia Fortenberry’s best-learned skills led her from the classrooms at Kennesaw State to a job as a supply chain analyst at Americold, a cold-storage and transport company with corporate offices in the Atlanta area.

Julia Fortenberry
Julia Fortenberry, left, and senior lecturer of statistics Susan Hardy
She graduated last December with a major in computational and applied mathematics and a minor in statistics. Thanks to the combination of her coursework and a summer internship, Americold hired her full time starting in January.

“I use what I learned at KSU every day,” she said. “I run analytics and statistics, and I’ve worked on the beginnings of a project that will use a predictive model for new projects coming into the office to better determine what will be the best win for the company.

A strong math student from a young age, Fortenberry came to KSU intending to study math education thanks to stellar teachers in high school who inspired her to love the subject. When she took on a minor in statistics, her goals changed a bit.

“Once I got involved in the stat minor at KSU, I really enjoyed everything we were learning,” she said. “I switched my major to computational and applied math with a minor in statistics. Really, I think my love of math was due specifically to all of the amazing math teachers and professors I’ve had over the years. They made math enjoyable and fun.”

From her studies, she earned a summer internship at Americold, where she came up with the idea for an approach to data that could save the company a significant amount of money annually. She took the project to KSU’s annual R Day poster presentation competition and won first prize among 280 student presenters.

That internship led to her current full-time position in the supply chain solutions group at Americold, where she and her co-workers take new projects with potential for millions of dollars in revenue and work with the sales team to figure out the best way to accomplish that goal.

“Americold has provided such a fun and interesting work environment and I enjoy the team and the company,” she said. “One of the best parts is that they prioritize the growth and education of their employees, and that’s definitely something that I plan to take advantage of here.”

– David Shelles

Photo submitted

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.